Steps Taken To Avoid Repeat Of Williams’ Cup Saga

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The disparity in the appeal system for suspended jockeys between states was brought to light in controversial circumstances during the 2011 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Both Nash Rawiller and Craig Williams found themselves facing suspensions that resulted in them missing rides in the Melbourne Cup.

For Williams it likely cost him a victory too with Dunaden winning the event and the huge prize money that came with it.

Both jockeys tried to appeal their bans but were unsuccessful in hearings the day before the race.

The laws in Victoria meant they had a period of just three days to lodge their appeal.

Had they fallen under NSW jurisdiction the riders would have been able to ride in the Melbourne Cup as they have a maximum of nine days.

The Victorian Jockeys Association are now attempting to close this discrepancy and will lobby for a doubling in the window up to six days.

CEO Des O’Keeffe said he will be taking his fight to Racing Victoria with two main goals.

The first is to reduce the number of appeals currently being lodged with an overall aim of better serving the industry.

He says it would give not only jockeys greater certainty but also trainers, owners and the punting public.

This year’s Melbourne Cup scenario would no doubt be a fantastic example with nobody knowing the rider for Dunaden until less than 24 hours before the race and an international jockey having to be flown in just to be on standby.

The Victorian Jockeys Association proposal would mean that if a jockey were suspended on a Monday they would be able to fulfil their rides all the way up until Saturday.

There’s no word yet on the position taken by Racing Victoria in response to the new proposal.

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